In March of 2018 it was three years since I took my last medication for depression. Since then I have been recovering from a stunted life on meds. To make a long story very short, I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder in 1991 and pretty much had been a mental health patient for 25 years. This probably would have been fine if the medication consistently worked, but it didn’t and much of my time on various medications was just miserable. I had no life or a very limited life much of that time. It seems many of us have friends and family who are kind of in the same boat: Medicated, but not thriving.
While I don’t believe I am at my full potential in terms of my health, I have come a long way. In the past three years I have recovered from the depression and anxiety that I was plagued with for decades. I no longer suffer from chronic physical ailments such as migraines, various skin issues, digestive disorders, and the pain from the autoimmune illness fibromyalgia. I have recovered from mental hang ups, obsessions and mental anguish that I could never let go while being treated with pharmaceuticals. I am no longer sick.
It’s been a lot of work to change from being a sick person to a healthy person. I had to first and foremost change the way I thought of myself. You see, in 1991, when I was twenty-six years old, I was told I had an illness, a chemical imbalance that would require drugs to cure. I fell for this story and believed it was true for me. Up until that point in 1991, I had experienced so much pain, my life was never really all that stable or good. This story of illness just made sense, my life had always been dysfunctional. I had pretty much always identified with being sad, sick and poor. Rather than figuring out ways to change my environment or the way I saw the world, the “chemical imbalance” theory was easy to grasp. The problem was, I never got better. I lived a stunted life and I could never figure out why things were the way they were. Now I totally believe the medication made my cognitive abilities chemically stuck, therefore my whole life became stuck. You could not have told me I was being chemically stunted while I was on the meds. I believed the drugs had saved me and I defended them at all costs.
Just before my last antidepressant, a sliver of light came through my thoughts and overnight my thinking had changed very dramatically. I suddenly had the inkling that the drugs had made me much sicker over the decades and I needed to get off them pronto.
Here I am three years later actually thriving for the first time in my life. I feel healthier and younger everyday. I am not a patient or a victim of some sad story; For the first time I am taking control of my life. I am no longer broke or broken. And the shock of all this is that I didn’t begin making these until age fifty. The reason I want to share my story is because I believe it is possible to take control and change your mental and physical health, your finances, and feel younger than you’ve ever felt, no matter what your age or how bad off you are.
My journey has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, it has been painful and it has been fun. The best part of this trip has been that I made a conscious choice of what I wanted my life to look like and I’ve been present for everything. I really feel like I am starting a life from scratch and I can’t wait to share my experience.